Viewers of Channel 5 and Channel 11 serial Neighbours have given their view on the reworked theme tune, which has seen the Tony Hatch score ditched for a modern sound. Most feel its a change too far… “my ears are becoming suicidal” noted one fan.

Neighbours Paul Robinson - actor stefan dennis

UK viewers had their chance to hear the new tune this week over the previous opening titles while in Australia the theme revamp was aired complete with new sequences on Monday.

On the official Neighbours Facebook page, the majority of comments have been scathing of the tune – which is for the first time a ‘proper duet’ (the Paul Norton and Wendy Stapleton 1999-2002 version was more dual harmonising).

The vocalists on the latest mix of the theme were competition winners Daniel Boys from the UK and Stephanie Angelini from Australia. Boys is the first British vocalist to perform the theme, although it was written by Brit Tony Hatch who also composed the theme tunes for ITV soaps Crossroads and Emmerdale.

Crossroads producer Reg Watson, an Australian, devised Neighbours as a ‘Aussie Coronation Street‘ and for 28 years its famous score and lyrics have opened each edition. Until now. The lyrics remain, however the iconic music has been replaced with a ‘bland backing’.

The Neighbours: Remixed Competition pitted the Brits against the Aussies in a search for a new vocalist to record a revamped version of the famous Neighbours song. Daniel won the British heat of the competition with 37% of the overall vote and flew to Melbourne, Australia to face a head-to-head sing-off with Stephanie Angelini who won the Australian heat of the competition.

The judging panel, comprised of the original singer of the Neighbours theme song, Barry Crocker, Neighbours Executive Producer, Richard Jasek and Chris Pettifer, Neighbours musical director and screen composer.

“I don’t like it… I would prefer to keep the roots of the song… this one has less rhythm… is more boring?” said hprades on TV Forum, while trivialmatters addedIt’s a bit of a mess isn’t it. The mixing is bad too – especially that last note on the closing theme, which is just two takes hashed together.”
On the Neighbours Facebook page, Tiger Flynn said, “Frankly the last theme tune was much better.” with Chelle Peters agreeing, “Its awful, sorry. There are massive timing issues between the two of them and seriously sounds dreadful.” While Michael Grainger noted, “It’s an abomination.”
DJDave on TV Forum noted, “I like the titles, going back to the old style with the shot of the sign etc. The theme I’m not to sure on, but I did see a clip online last night and it was very much like the good old Neighbours before the guns etc…” With a short but to the point comment from Nok32UK, “That is atrocious”.
Back on Facebook and the official Neighbours page, “Good God this new theme tune is horrendous.” said Laura Elizabeth Hogg, and “NOOOO Bring back the Old song, I cannt stand this new one, yeah they are good singers but not the Neighbours song, I now get up and walk out of the room before it starts.” said Kristy Jackson-Wiggins, Natasha Snell agreed, “Its awful, listen to your fans Neighbours!! I turn it over until they are finished.”
John on TV Forum observed, “His voice sounds OK in the theme, it’s the juxtaposition of the two voices that does not work. It reminds me of the mess Blue Peter got into with their Music Makers / Murrey Gold signature tune competition which resulted in a school orchestra sounding theme, which was never used…. Leave it to the professionals!
“The pitch of the song is just not right for a woman, so they’ve had to give her a different tune to make it stay within a sensible range. That would be fine if it was an actual duet, and she was harmonising beneath the guy, but she’s not; she sings solo as the lines alternate. So her part just sounds a bit weird.” added The Nurse.
“Sorry really dislike the new opening credits! Too light and fluffy! All that is missing are unicorns and rainbows! And the new song really doesn’t have any punch! it just sounds like a scout camp singalong.” Said Reece Catlin on the shows Facebook page, “Old one much better – why the change?” added Judy Brady, “Gets worse every time!” suggested Cathy Emma Punter and “i hate the new theme – sounds dreadful” noted Denise End.
“That has got to be the worst thing I’ve heard all year. Absolutely terrible…” Said Rob on TV Forum, “Hopefully one day they’ll see sense and return to something like this [link to 2003 titles]” added VMPhil. “The theme was always going to sound awful with that arrangement. Not a fan of the new titles either – they’re just a bit of a mess with a little bit too much going on – the cheap C5 rehash of the old titles with the new theme looks better IMO.” said Brekkie.
Jaime Solloso said on the Neighbours facebook page, “Its awful. Sounds like two cats involved in a fight.” with “Rubbish, bring back the original, why change if its not broke suggested Suneeta Samat and Nick Ansell statingits pretty bad compared to the last theme tune.”
Emma Peel added, “You can’t go far wrong by reverting to the original… not my cuppa tea this remix”,Mis Holly Lee Crump followed with “The new song is crap ! Puts me to sleep” and “the one we got now in UK is awful that my ears are becoming suicidal!” said Madalena Theodorou and “I cringe every time I hear the girls pitch drop out towards the end of the shortened version… it is almost painful and easier to mute the opening now than listen rather than hear it! said Melanie Emerton.
And more…Kerry Crampton said, “The new song is the worst version ever. Get rid of it now!”, “The girl is not that good. Would have preferred just the male vocal” added Debbie Downall, Sharon Dieben noted “Don’t like it, you stuffed it up, the original was much better, very disappointed.” Fiona Fuller concluded, “sorry, have to agree with all that say its crap.”

And so on goes the majority of posters criticising the reworked theme. Our telly critic Queenie adds:

“Harsh, they’re all being terribly harsh. Personally I like theme tunes that sound like a five year old is thrashing a piano to bits with clapping seals in the background.”

Decide for yourselves, with the new opening and closing theme below:

YouTube viewers have been equally as critical, a few comments include:

“Ewww, sounds so awful… Sorry, but way too much going on vocally, so it sounds messy. Plus, is it me or is the tempo of the backing track too slow/disjointed? It sounds a tiny bit amateur…..” said Zoozbuh, “I like the footage of the opening but I don’t like the new soundtracks… I prefer the previous theme tune! :(“ noted Kelly.

“Sounds bizarre and unorganised tbh. And there’s also a little bit too much autotuning, especially for Stephanie…” said Nogardcm, and “it seems like they’re singing in different styles & overlapping each other & then all the backing vocals mixed in just makes it sound so messy..& please get rid of the yellow looks like a load of tennis balls & makes no sense..” said Tommy Dowling.

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